9 September 2011
How many translated books in the last 5 that you read?
Here are the results of the poll that I've been running for the last 10 days:
In the post that accompanied the poll I had worked out that about 15% of what I read is translated crime fiction. But as my current list showed, the books come from all over the world, with a tendency to favour Scandinavian.
The poll itself showed that translated crime fiction is quite popular amongst readers of this blog.
23 people responded, and between us, in the last 115 books we've read, 26 were translated. Some people said that, like me, they do read a fair bit of translated fiction, and were surprised that their wasn't one title amongst their last 5.
Several commentators said they didn't take much notice of whether a book is translated or not. What they wanted was a really good read. When you ask readers if they read translated fiction, they will often cite experiences with "poor translations" etc., but I'm not actually sure how you tell. It is possible that a translated book doesn't feel like what you normally read. Sometimes the translator doesn't quite get the nuances and local idioms right, but usually they do manage to convey a flavour from the culture that has produced them.
I must confess to having participated in a Nordic reading challenge both this year and last.
The effect of that is to focus on selecting books that fit the challenge requirements.
I'm not actually doing all that well with the Nordic Challenge 2011 this year with only 10 of my target of 20 books read so far.
The other challenge that sometimes involves me in reading translated books is the 2011 Global Reading Challenge. I have read 19 out of a target of 21 novels for this but this year they have mostly actually been written in English.
The other way of reading translated crime fiction is to do something like involve yourself in reading books that are eligible for the CWA International Dagger. I've done that in the past, but didn't this year.
However, if you are interested in doing something like that for 2012, Karen at EuroCrime is listing the eligible books. The list is enormous and you can find it here.
Some bloggers like Crime Scraps Review, Maxine at Petrona, and Jose Ignacio at The Game's Afoot are posting regularly about their reading.